Preparations before death
Health care directives and powers of attorney
The patient should speak to their physician about the type of death that they want and the care that they would like to receive at the end of life.
It is good to put their wishes into writing to guide their loved ones and the care team in making decisions.
Three forms can help the patient clearly express their wishes (see Appendices B, C and D):
- Health care directives (these allow the patient to specify the health care that they would like to receive at the end of life, the health care that they do not want to receive and the type of death that they would like);
- Enduring power of attorney for personal care (this allows a power of attorney to be designated for personal care; this person will represent the patient in making decisions in their place if they are no longer capable of doing so);
- Identification of substitute decision maker for incompetent patient
Funeral arrangements involve various choices:
- Funeral home (contract for funeral arrangements and associated costs);
- Casket or urn;
- Burial plot with gravestone or location where urn will be placed;
- Type of ceremony;
- Logistics of the ceremony (location, guest list, flowers, food, death notice, etc.);
- Suggestions of organizations (donations in memory of the deceased), registry kept for thanking people.
Potential financial assistance
- Compassionate care benefits from Employment Insurance (1 800 808 6352 or servicecanada.gc.ca)
- Private insurance
- Life insurance policies
- Canadian Cancer Society (1 888 939 3333)
- Canada Revenue Agency (1 800 267 6999)
- Survivor’s benefits, Death Benefit and Allowance for the Survivor (1 800 277 9915 or servicecanada.gc.ca)
- Veterans Affairs (1 866 522 2022)
- Funeral Benefit from Social Development (1 833 733 7835)